The Financial Times reported that Samsung BioLogics, a division of South Korea based Samsung plans to produce generic versions of certain monoclonal anti body drugs by 2015. The company is targeting the opening of a new manufacturing plant by June, and seeks international regulatory approvals for the plant by the end of this year. It is reported that this move implies the entry of a significant new drug competitor from Asia.

In an interview with FT, a Samsung executive made note that while certain pharmaceutical companies excel in drug innovation and sales strategies, they may lack volume and process based manufacturing expertise. Tae-Han Kim, president of the BioLogics division is quoted: “The price of monoclonal antibodies is very expensive and not affordable to all patients. That is a heavy burden on governments and payers.

Supply Chain Matters readers who have been following our ongoing commentaries related to a crisis in quality and manufacturing competencies within the area of expensive generics might well relate to the possibility of new industry disruptors that can present a different approach for customers. Perhaps Samsung executives were aware of our commentaries.

In any case, some interesting industry dynamics are underway with an emphasis toward competing on production and supply chain capabilities.

Bob Ferrari